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Is it permissible to touch an elderly or pious person’s feet out of respect?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftisays.com
salaam. In some culture it is common to touch an elderly or pious person’s feet out of respect. When somone speaks against it quoting a fatawa “If the bowing down creates a resemblance of Sajdah, it is not permissible”. (Fataawa Mahmoodiyah vol.17 pg.392) they reply “it is not sajdah or resembling sajdah they say that imam abu hanifa’s student’s did this to imam abu hanifa r.a.” They call it ‘khudam musi’ i am unsure on what to do and believe and so many are in the same situations, please answer quickly this act is very very common on eid it is allmost compulsary on eid. jazak allah khairan


Al-jawab billahi at-taufeeq (the answer with Allah’s guidance)

The prostration of worship (Sujud Al-Ibadah), for other than Allah, is absolutely and undeniably disbelief (Kufr).

The prostration of respect (Sujud Al-Ta`dhim) or greeting (Tahiyya), for other than Allah, is unlawful and a major sin, according to all four schools of law, and could lead one to Kufr.

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) is reported to have said:

“It is not permissible for one human to prostrate in front of another.” (Sunan Tirmidhi).

Given this and similar texts, the scholars are unanimous on the fact that any type of prostration for any besides Allah Ta’ala is strictly unlawful, and regarded a major sin. If practised out of worship, then it will be disbelief (Kufr).

However, if touching of the feet which you are able to avoid the prostration posture, is un-Islamic and it should also be avoided.

To our knowledge there is no reports that any student of Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) did such an act (prostration or something that resembles prostration) to Imam Abu Hanifah (RA).

Also, to prostrate and touch the feet or to bow down and touch the feet, is the custom of the Kuffar i.e Hindus and Buddhists etc.

Rasullulah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa salam) has said, “Whosoever impersonates a nation (other than Islam) will be (resurrected) from them on the day of judgment”. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

And Only Allah Ta’ala Knows Best.

Moulana Qamruz Zaman
London, UK

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This answer was collected from MuftiSays.com, based in London (UK). It is one of the fruits of Darul Uloom London. Many ‘ulama are involved in answering the Q&A on the site, including: Shaikul Hadeeth Mufti Umar Farooq Sahib, Mufti Saifur Rahman Sahib, Mufti Abdullah Patel Sahib, Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahib, Mufti Abu Bakr Karolia Sahib.

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